To the across

Across the country is where I went. It’s what I drove through, and what I planned on doing. Across the country gives me a different world from the one I had.

Crossing the country, thoughts flooded my mind, but the outstanding voice I heard kept saying “are you sure.” It was being posed as a statement, rather than the question it should be. Reassuring myself that this motion I have started isn’t stopping.

Are you sure.

And yep, the only thing to be heard was, YES. Because, at that moment, if it was me asking myself “are you sure” once again, then going cross country would be a feat I’m not sure I could handle. Questioning myself at this point was far beyond okay. Comparable to being asked to go out, as you look down at your pajama pants, too comfy to fathom taking off, and since public is not where these pants belong, public is where you don’t go.

Across the country I went.

Across the country, my world is a little quieter. Across the country, the air feels different, smells different even. Across the country, my life slows down.

Because across the country, my world was skipping on stones peaking out of the water, hopping to a place that felt better than the last. Constant hopping, constant hoping. The unsettling feeling that my feet could get wet at any minute. So, for a moment, I wanted to just be. Be where I was, and feel like I wasn’t looking for the next stone to balance on.

So, sitting on my steady boulder across the country, I see my old world from afar. I can still feel it, and smell it. I can still feel the unsettling feeling that was constantly pricking at my back. That feeling, the reminder of the anxiety that ruled my world, is what makes me content with this boulder I’m on.

Content for a moment, brief it seems to being.

Because, even though across country is what I wanted, needed, back across the country is where I still want to go.

Perspective is what this boulder is giving me. A perspective that I couldn’t see above my skipping stones, not when skipping was all I felt I was doing.

Being unsure is something I would like to be done with. Knowing is hard. It’s scary to me because of its permanent attributes. Leaving something unknown leaves room for change, it gives room for the disappointment that seems inevitable. Because in the end, disappointment is what I was skipping away from, using “I don’t know” as my crutch— Something I could rely on and use to protect myself because vulnerability is where disappointment dwells, waiting to wet your feet.

Not sure if wet socks is something I could go through again, anymore, I skipped so far that it became across the country. But, with a new view, this boulder that I feel so stable on, is in fact, just another skipping stone I find myself balancing on…

But, just now, I hear rain hitting the ground, forming a new layer of water just deep enough for me to get my feet in, which I think, I’ll do on purpose this time.

Hot Tamale

She sat there, staring at her newly painted wall. This color made her feel good, happy. The boldness of the color made her feel strong. Despite the murmurs from her mother about how it’s “too much,” she smiled, happy with her decision.

She got up from her bed, the wood floors were cool, the air heavy. Summer nights in this house were hot and humid. Old windows allowed little air flow. Only a breeze of chilled air whooshed out from her mother’s bedroom. The window air conditioning unit made the air smell cold.

Tired, she turned into the bathroom. It smelled of toothpaste and bathwater. The bath mat was damp on the ground. Her hair felt the humidity. She looked in the faded mirror, and splashed her face with cold water. It felt good, so she did it again. Eye closed, she grabbed for the towel hanging beside the sink—water dripped off her face onto the floor. She held the towel to her face for awhile, rubbed her eyes with it, and hung it back up. Her reflection showed a red spotty girl. Eyes puffy, skin shiny, she was ready for some sleep. Exhaling, she removed her contacts, a ritual that had become an annoying habitual bed time routine.

She walked back into her “hot tamale” red room. The room glowed like a quiet candle. Eyes blurry, she spotted the outline of her glasses on the dresser. Placing them on her dewy face, everything came into focus. Her room felt new. Now, opportunity is not a characteristic typically offered from a tiny cramped bedroom, but indeed, that is what she felt from it. The color. The god damn crazy hot tamale color—it was what she wanted. In that moment and in every moment after that she loved that color. 

She turned around and flicked the light switch off. She stood there for several seconds in the dark. Letting her eye adjust, she felt her way to her bed. Feeling the coolness of the sheets, she threw the covers to the floor. Throwing both legs onto the bed at once, she exhaled, laid her head back, and closed her eyes. For once, in a long time, she immediately drifted off into a dream. She could feel herself sinking into her bed, her pillow, as she drifted further. Darkness took over the colors of her awake mind. But soon new colors emerged as her reality slept.

The girl who wakes up

Once there was this girl. She sat up all night because her mind would not stop minding. Minding about what, she didn’t even know. But, she knew enough to know it felt good. Good to be there. Right there.

Zooming and looming, her thoughts laid across her face. Sprawled in carelessness. Who is to judge her, she didn’t care.

Wild, she felt. Uneasy, she felt. Electric, she felt.

Steadily, she will eventually fall into sleep. Content with her last thought; enough to let herself go. Just for the moments where she can lightly dance on top of her reality.

The morning chiming hums her to life. She gets up, and heavily walks to open her door. The outside breeze wraps around her. Her warm, safe, and lonely ebode gets wooshed up and twirled around.